How Entropy Explains the Emergence of Consciousness: The Entropic Theory

Journal of Neurobehavioral Sciences 11 (1):10-18 (2024)
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Abstract

Background: Emergentism as an ontology of consciousness leaves unanswered the question as to its mechanism. Aim: I aim to solve the Body-Mind problem by explaining how conscious organisms emerged on an evolutionary basis at various times in accordance with an accepted scientific principle, through a mechanism that cannot be understood, in principle. Proposal: The reason for this cloak of secrecy is found in a seeming contradiction in the behaviour of information with respect to the first two laws of thermodynamics. Information, the microstate of particles within an isolated system’s macrostate, can, like first law energy, be neither created nor destroyed, yet the information in the system, like second law entropy, will inevitably increase. To explain information increasing without being created, Laplace’s demon is invoked, able to predict where each particle is destined. This doesn’t work for emerging events like consciousness, which are unpredictable. This can be understood in terms of the derivation of entropy, and the emergence of classical physics, from the Relativistic Transactional Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. I propose that the increased entropy in a time-irreversible, unpredictable (emergent) isolated system requires the simultaneous deletion of information concerning the steps, or calculations, involved. Conclusion: Thus, the steps leading to consciousness are immediately destroyed and must remain a mystery. Implications include that entropy, not panpsychism, is the Universal principle generative of consciousness, that our being conscious proves that we are not predetermined, and that consciousness requires assuming an “entropy debt” that can only be repaid by living organisms, prohibiting the emergence of conscious machines.

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